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I wonder what you recommend as a post-running meal. I've read that you're supposed to eat something right after the training to prevent your body storing your next big meal's calories as fat.

I use to workout with weights and when I did I really needed a post-workout snack. Then I switched to running and found I don't feel the need of a post-training meal. Am I mistaking? Should I at least eat a banana, a shake or something else? I stay away from protein shakes as they have some nasty side-effect on me.

What do you recommend?

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5 Answers

There is some good evidence that the body wants to get some carbs and protein in in the first hour after the completion of exercise. Many people recommend chocolate milk for this; it's a good combination of protein and carbs - and is very tasty!

For me, I try to do a nutritious shake and something solid. The shake contains a lot of good nutrition (protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy oils) and I find I need something solid to give me a feeling of fullness.

I used to go to the local shake shop and get a protein/berry shake and a chicken wrap. That got me in very good shape for a 100km race. Sadly, that franchise has closed down.

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Chocolate milk! Ya baby! –  geoffc Feb 16 '12 at 0:56
    
@Sarge-just wondering about your thoughts regarding whether you think it is important to have food after exercise or do you think a nutritious shake is sufficient enough? Thanks! –  Bee Jul 4 '12 at 7:56
    
@Bee I don't see the two as being particularly different. You want to replace the carbs and protein you've used and provide the building blocks to build better muscle, etc. I like to have something solid because, without it, the shake gets digested quickly and then I feel hungry again! –  Sarge Jul 5 '12 at 11:58
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Chocolate milk as mentioned above is great. If you have just completed a very hard or very long run, try Endurox. It helps recover the body as well and is aimed at endurance athletes.

Yes, the body is looking to efficiently burn calories the first 30-60 minutes after a run, so refuel fast. This includes hydration as well. Chocolate milk is good, but eat something with some nutrients as well. Something simple will help ensure your stomach will not give you issues. My favorite post-long run meal is 2 over-easy eggs, rice (whole grain), and a salad or some fruit. It may be hard to do this after each run if you run during the week. For those short days chocolate milk and some fruit will suffice if you are in a pinch. But I reco getting a good meal after anything that is very strenuous.

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Personally I find that I'm not hungry per say after a run, but I do have a snack. My choice of poison is a chocolate milk (yea I know its been mentioned) and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In college when I had classes after my workouts, that meal would keep me going until I got home for dinner.

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My 2 cents...

When lifting weights, the most important thing for recovery is protein. Getting 50 grams in as quickly as possible (and repeating every 4 hours) helps you rebuild the muscles, to get over the soreness.

After running, you need both - the carbs reload the muscles, and the protein helps rebuild. I've seen many places that suggest 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 carb to protein ratio. Chocolate milk has it, and can also be a reward for hard work. :-) I find many yogurts have a similar ratio. Having a banana with a lower carb yogurt also works for me.

Everybody is different, but I find that drinking lots of water as quickly as possible, and then eating something with both carbs and protein very quickly is the best for recovery. Some places say 30 or 60 minutes, but I find I respond better more quickly.

Most important - listen to your body. If protein shakes (or nuts, or milk, or anything) doesn't feel right, don't force it.

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Get some fruit inside you to get your energy back and also for some potassium to help muscle recovery. Bananas and raisins are great sources of potassium as far as fruits go. Bananas are also one of the few natural foods that are deemed a complete protein, and proteins are a must to aid working and growing muscles. Bananas and raisins may be relatively high in calories for fruits, but better you get their nutritional benefits and use the calories that eat something less effective.

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Is that all? I think that something more than that is required. Perhaps, a glass of milk with some sugar! –  Freakyuser Jun 9 '13 at 17:02
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